Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A triangular insert, as in the seam of a garment, for added strength or expansion.
  • noun A triangular metal bracket used to strengthen a joist.
  • noun A piece of mail or plate armor protecting the joints in a suit of armor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A triangular plate or piece of cloth inserted or attached, to protect, strengthen, or fill out some part of a thing; a gore.
  • noun An angular piece of iron or a kind of bracket fastened in the angles of a structure to give strength or stiffness. An angular piece of iron inserted in a boiler, tank, etc., where it changes from a cylindrical to a square form, as at the junction of the barrel and fire-box of a locomotive. A triangular piece of cloth inserted in a garment to strengthen or enlarge some part.
  • noun In heraldry, same as gore, 7.
  • To make with a gusset; insert a gusset into, as a garment.
  • noun In iron shipbuilding, a piece of plate of triangular form reinforcing on one side the junction of a part which meets another angularly, the gusset-plate being approximately normal to the line of the joint between the parts. See cut under bracket, 9 .

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A small piece of cloth inserted in a garment, for the purpose of strengthening some part or giving it a tapering enlargement.
  • noun Anything resembling a gusset in a garment.
  • noun (Armor) A small piece of chain mail at the openings of the joints beneath the arms.
  • noun (Mach.) A kind of bracket, or angular piece of iron, fastened in the angles of a structure to give strength or stiffness; esp., the part joining the barrel and the fire box of a locomotive boiler.
  • noun (Her.) An abatement or mark of dishonor in a coat of arms, resembling a gusset.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A small piece of cloth inserted in a garment, for the purpose of strengthening some part or giving it a tapering enlargement.
  • noun A small piece of mail, providing some protection where two plates of armor are joined, usually at the elbows, under the shoulders, and behind the knees.
  • noun machinery A kind of bracket, or angular piece of iron, fastened in the angles of a structure to give strength or stiffness; esp., the part joining the barrel and the fire box of a locomotive boiler.
  • noun heraldry An abatement or mark of dishonor in a coat of arms, resembling a gusset.
  • noun roofing A large flat metal piece wider than the valley to help prevent build-up at the base of the valley, either from debris or ice dam formations.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a piece of chain mail covering a place unprotected by armor plate
  • noun a piece of material used to strengthen or enlarge a garment
  • noun a metal plate used to strengthen a joist

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French gousset, perhaps diminutive of gousse, pod, husk.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French gousset ("armpit, fob").

Examples

Comments

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  • "From the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step. Pyjamas, let us say? Or stockingette gusseted knickers, closed?" Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 1, 2008

  • This garnered a number of mentions on the Guardian's "most despised word" discussion (7/7/09). Some detractors, but a spirited defence as well. My favorite sentence from the discussion:

    "The world would be a lot better place if the likes of Peaches Geldof had sturdier gussets."

    Of course, the moist-haters were out in force. Defenestrate came in for some criticism as well.

    wincewords

    July 7, 2009

  • "I also hate portion. Partly because of the sound, partly because of the implied paucity of the amount. Who wants a portion of pudding? I want a helping or a bowlful."

    July 7, 2009

  • I can't hear this word anymore without thinking of a scene from "Coupling" in which Jeff tries to pick up a girl and when he finds she doesn't speak English, he takes the opportunity to say some of his favorite words, "gusset" being among them.

    July 8, 2009

  • I like "gusset." Also "portion."

    July 9, 2009

  • I don't think I've ever heard this word in America, except when watching the British show Coupling.

    July 10, 2009